Images by Sean Rowe

Report by Martin Grimley

Day 1 of the UCI C2 Cross Clonmel race took place on Saturday 16 October at Powerstown Park Racecourse, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, hosted by Clonmel Cycling Club. Event organiser John Dempsey lead a well organised group of volunteers to plan and execute a successful race. Day 1 was for the youth riders (Under 6s to Under 16s) as well as a support races for Seniors. Day 2 is for the Masters, Junior men, Women and Elite men. The weather for Day 1 was mostly dry, windy at times. The course looked great with two scaffold bridges constructed on site and three sections of the course. The main arena held the start/finish, the large scaffold bridge, podium, catering, PA and music, The top corner was a tree enclosed grove with the east side of the park a wooded area with lots of twists. The exit from the wooded area was over the smaller scaffold bridge. Last Sunday there was another race on the site which headed to bed in the course.

The first race of the day was for the Under 6s which had 10 young riders completing one lap of a short course. Next up were the Under 8s who had 3 laps of a course which took them through the start/finish, around the turn, by-passing the scaffold bridge, then heading down the course to rejoin the bottom of the start/finish straight. Benjamin Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) took the win in the boys’ race with George Cleverley (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) second and Cormac Murphy (Un-Attached Leinster) third. The host club had organised medals for all riders but trophies for top 5. Josh Turner (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) was fourth with Eoin Crowley (Un-Attached Munster) fifth. In the girls’ race Molly Turner (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) finished ahead of Caroline Collins (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) with Marian Mulvaney (Un-Attached Munster) third, Hanna Lyons (Un-Attached Leinster) fourth and Áine O’Flynn (Clonmel CC) fifth.

The Under 10s lined up to do the same course as the Under 8s but they had 9 laps to complete. There were 15 boys and 5 girls lined up for this race. Daragh Quigley (Foyle CC) came away with another win, his fourth of the season, with Jake Govan (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) second and Max McGrath (Fermoy Cycling Club) third. Jacob Robinson (Bray Wheelers) was fourth but missed out on a podium photo due to a timing issue. William Hance (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) completed the podium in fifth place. Eve Cleverley (Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club) took the win in the girls’ race when she finished ahead of Emma O’Callaghan (Verge Sport PI Cycles). Anna Dempsey (Clonmel CC) was third with Aisling Crowley (Un-Attached Munster) fourth. Ella O’Flaherty unfortunately didn’t finish her race.

The Under 12s course included the Under 8s/10s but they went over the scaffold bridge and then headed out towards the clearing behind the trees in the top corner of the site. The riders had 4 laps to complete with James Cunningham (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) taking the chequered flag ahead of Darragh Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club). Eoin Davis (Bohermeen CC) was third with Rory Mulhearne (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) fourth and Adam Daly (Scott Quanta Racing) fifth. Copying younger brother Daragh, Clodagh Quigley (Foyle CC) had to have a sprint finish to winn the Under 12 girls’ race with Katie Turner (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) right beside her at the line. Orla Mulhearne (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) was third with Naoise Byrne (Carlow RCC) fourth and Eire McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) fifth.

Next up were the Under 14 girls and Under 16 girls who were the first to use the full course. The Under 16s girls had 4 laps to complete with the Under 14 girls doing 3 laps. Emer Heverin (Kinning Cycles Cycling Club) has already won 4 cyclo-cross races this year with this event making it number 5. Cara Suckling (VC Glendale) finished second with Cuchulainn CC riders taking the next 3 positions on the podium, Ffion Dolan, Holly McCaffrey and Grace O’Rourke taking 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. In the Under 16 girls’ race Greta Lawless (Team WORC) got her first win of the season with Rhiannon Dolan (Cuchulainn CC) second, Mya Doocey (Navan Road Club) third, Faith Robinson (Bray Wheelers) fourth and Lucy Brown (Phoenix CC) fifth.

The Under 14 boys and Under 16 boys races at the same time with just 45 seconds between the groups. Seth Dunwoody and Samuel Coleman, both from Shelbourne/Orchard CC have been dominating races so far this season with Seth getting a close win today ahead of Samuel. Conor Murphy (Rostrevor Mountain Bike Club) was right up with the two lads from Shelbourne/Orchard CC and came away with an impressive third spot. Local rider Ryan McCarthy (Verge Sport PI Cycles) got fourth with Ryan Fox (Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club) fifth. Curtis McKee (VC Glendale) has had a tremendous season so far. The Under 14 rider was mixing it up with the front end of the Under 16s and managed to finish in 5th place overall, first in his category. Hugh Og Mulhearne (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) was second Under 14 boy with Rian McCrystal (Bellurgan Wheelers) third Adam Ward (VC Glendale) fourth and Jack Dempsey (Gorey Cycling Club) fifth.

The final race of day was the Support race. A 30 minute race using the full course for senior riders, male and female. Visiting rider Alex Ryan (Ibis Off Road p/b Eliel Cycling Team) took the win with Alan Lyons (Dungarvan CC) second, Joseph Donworth (Limerick Cycling Club) third, Tom Kinsella (Panduit Carrick Wheelers) (who had had a puncture in the earlier race and asked to race again) got fourth with John Collins (Verge Sport PI Cycles) fifth. Márcia Salvador (TC Racing) won the women’s race with Breda Murphy (Marble City Cyclers) second and Michelle Dunne (IMBRC) third.

Results here